Josh Tickell Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Warner Brothers

It all started with an email
About 2 weeks ago I was minding my own business, checking my email, when I ran across a little different email.

It said that the person was in town making a movie and would like to get a kit and also learn more about biodiesel….

I didn’t think much of it, as I really technically don’t sell kits yet, I just have links to B100 Supply’s kits (they do an AWESOME job by the way). But, it intrigued me and they’d left a phone number so I decided to call.

What ensued from that one phone call has been a whirlwind of sheer bliss.

Unaccompanied Minors
It turned out that the person on the other end was from the Art Department for an upcoming film called Unaccompanied Minors. The film is being made by Warner Brothers (not some cheesy outfit, but THE REAL WARNER BROTHERS) and one of the characters was going to be massively into biodiesel. She asked me some questions and said she was interested in looking at some equipment and possibly learning more about biodiesel.

The Director, Paul Fieg, wanted to be authentic in how they portrayed it and somehow I got to help get it that way.

Bumper Stickers, Decals, and License Plates…oh my!
The Character, Sam Davenport, an avid environmentalist professor at a University, was going to be REALLY into biodiesel (and I mean MASSIVELY into the stuff). So, to portray just how “Into It” he was, they purchased TONS of my Biodiesel decals, bumper stickers, license plate surrounds, and some Biodiesel Emblems. They also purchased my Marine Style Biodiesel Hat, some Biodiesel Soap, amd cleared me out of my Biodiesel Samples.

They also used some Biodiesel Literature that Jack Jones (a good friend of mine) put together from the NREL 2004 Biodiesel Handling & Use Guidelines.

Graydon, The Biodiesel Educator…
And it didn’t stop there!
These guy’s were serious! They REALLY wanted to be authentic.
So, on a Saturday Afternoon, their Art Director stopped by and spent a good 3 hours with me learning about Biodiesel, how it’s made, what goes into it, and looking at equipment.

By the time I was done, I think her brain was about ready to explode from all of the great information she’d learned. She left with hands FULL of biodiesel “stuff” to use in the movie.

The “Authentic” Biodiesel Garage
Well, it didn’t stop there. Turns out, instead of wanting to buy a new kit, they wanted to rent some REAL, greasy looking, used biodiesel equipment to place in the characters garage.

It just so happens that I now own Jack Jones famous Appleseed Style Biodiesel Reactor as well as a bunch of other “real” biodiesel equipment. One look and they were hooked. It was PERFECT!

So, we worked out a deal, they took a ton of pictures, and whoala! A week later a big truck showed up at my place, picked up all my biodiesel stuff, handed me a bonified Warner Brothers Check (it was soooooo cool!) and drove away.

But Wait, There’s More!
I could say “away went the equipment and the rest is history” but it got better!

Not only did they want to rent all of my equipment, but they also wondered if I’d be interested in coming to the set to help them make sure everything was set up right & watch the shoot.

Do birds fly? HECK YAH!!!!
This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only go & watch a movie be made BUT ACTUALLY PARTICIPATE in how it was going to be put together. I WAS THRILLED!

It was late…and I mean REALLY late!
So, they called me & left me with direction’s on getting there and told me that the “call” was at 7pm and to come & show up.

I drove up the canyon to a place called Heber City, Utah (it’s just East of Park City–you know, where the Olympics were held) in my rickety old Isuzu Diesel pickup and parked in a lot.

I called my contact and was told to “get in a van” and I’d be brought to the set.

I jumped in this long, honkin’ Ford Extended van and it whisked me away to the movie set. I was in incredible anticipation of what I’d see the whole ride there.

Once there, I jumped out & headed toward a house that looked like the one they’d shown me in the pictures of the place. Yep, There it was! The garage…..and MY EQUIPMENT sitting in it. It was so dang cool!

As I approached the garage, the art director came out & met me & took me into the garage & asked what I thought. I thought it was incredible!

Click here to see pictures of the garage that I took.

Once there I got to help them get everything set up just the way “I thought a biodiesel garage would be set up”. Here I was telling THEM how things should be set-up. It was just sooo cool!

So, I had them change some things around, moved some hoses into place, and we got the garage set up to “my standards” for what I thought one would look like.

Enter The Scenic
Then, after I got everything in place, a guy called a scenic was called in.

His job was to take the garage and “make it look used, dirty, & grimy”. Now, my equipment was grimy & all, but there were several things that were brand spankin’ new in the garage so it was his job to “age” them. I was in utter amazement at how well he did the job. A little paint here, a smudge there, & whoala! You’ve got a dirty, used looking garage! (wait’ll you see the car!)

He did an incredible job making that garage look “lived in” just with some paint & stuff here & there. It was so amazing to see MY equipment in this garage being worked on by a scenic and made to look even more authentic looking. Sheer bliss I tell ya!

Well, it just kept getting better.

It’s All In The Lighting
When I first got there, the garage was kind of drab looking & all and the lighting was pretty bad.

In come the “lighting guys”. They added a bunch of specific flourescent lights that had a different hue to them (supposedly a “lighter” color–made it honestly look like the sun was shining in there). They then added some light “here & there” and the garage just came to life.

If you look at my pictures, look at the one’s with the “1” in front of them. These are the one’s I took w/ the lighting in place. That whole “lights, camera, action” thing has something to it.

But Wait, There’s More!
Well, what would a garage be without a car, right? EXACTLY!

Not only did they ask for my help in setting up their garage, but during the same time I received another call from their “transportation” person. She wanted to know what kind of a car to get for the guy to drive….well, I couldn’t let her down, now could I!

So, what’s the ULTIMATE Biodiesel car to drive? Why a MERCEDES DIESEL, Of course!
If you look down a few posts, you’ll see where I did a blog on Mercedes Diesels & why I thought they were the ultimate cars for biodiesel. What I DIDN’T say in the blog was that the whole reason I wrote that little thing was because I was asked by Warner Brothers to justify why I thought they needed a diesel mercedes. The stuff I wrote went right to the director to be read. SERIOUSLY!!! Yes, THE DIRECTOR!

So, they HAD to have a Mercedes diesel! And two Mercedes Diesel’s it would be (they had to blow one up in the show–more on that later).

Well, I put their transportation person in touch with some local biodieseler’s and really quick like she sourced 2 old Mercedes Diesels. As in 1977 Mercedes Diesels (cool, huh!)

After I got to see the garage, I got to wander around the set & lo & behold my eyes beheld the sweetest biodiesel Mercedes I’d ever seen!

Check it out! Not only sweet because it was a Mercedes, but sweet because it was a frieken POSTER CHILD for my Decals. They’d plasted the heck out of that thing with decals, bumper stickers, licens plate surrounds, and even added my BIODIESEL emblem to it.

Hit the link & check out the pics. It’s just downright amazing! They even aged the car too…the thing was CAKED with mud. (Again, had to get that Authentic look).

Well, I was in sheer bliss. I met the transportation lady that’d got the car’s & we talked about it for a while and she was really appreciative of my efforts to help her find the things.

But it get’s better!
Now, not only did I get to help with the garage & helping them source out a Mercedes, but then I got to wander upstairs to their “office” for the character.

As I walked in, I immediately beheld Biodiesel stuff in there. On the bilboard. On the desk. On the wall. It was sweet!

Check out the office! Look at the pics of the board on the wall and then look at pictures 14-16. If you look closely you can see my biodiesel literature I gave to them as well as my biodiesel samples sitting on his desk and also some biodiesel soap sitting there too.

Yep! All from me! It was sweet!

Again, it was just so dang cool to see it all! I took a bunch of video that I’ll soon digitize as well and will post on the site. Until then, just enjoy the pictures.

While I was there I got to meet the director and a bunch of other people. It got too late for me to stick around & meet the character (I left at 2:30 am–I was tired). I did however, get a bunch of folks to sign one of my Biodiesel Hats and it’s become a treasure that’s proudly displayed in my place now.

Anyway, the whole experience has just been amazing. These guy’s really went to great lengths to make everything authentic too. It was just so amazing. I’ll post more about the experience as I get more of the pictures put together and the video digitized. For now, enjoy the pics and be sure to watch for the show to come out later this December.

One of the neat things about this whole experience is it show’s just how far biodiesel has come. A few years ago no one even knew what the stuff was, let alone how to pronounce it, and now here we are seeing it moved into the mainstream and even onto the silver screen by big companies such as Warner Brothers. That’s just cool! It’s truly starting to “come of age” and I for one am loving being a part of it!

Signed, still on cloud 9 compliments of Warner Brothers
The Rabid Biodiesel Nut

About Utah Biodiesel Supply

Utah Biodiesel Supply is an industry leader in offering innovative ways to empower our customers to produce Biodiesel. From free online instructional videos on how to get started making this great renewable fuel to promotional items to help our customers proclaim their energy independence, Utah Biodiesel Supply has it covered. With the widest selection available of Biodiesel equipment, supplies, and promotional items, you're sure to learn something new about Biodiesel every time you visit.

6 comments on “Josh Tickell Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Warner Brothers

  1. so why are they going to blow up the car? That doesn’t seem like a very good way to portray biodiesel. I mean it would be pretty difficult to blow up a biodiesel car, a lot more than the usual bullet to the gas tank explosion.

  2. The reason the car get’s blown up is due to the fact that it ran out of gas and he couldn’t find any biodiesel so he resorted to putting gasoline in the reserve tank in his back seat.

    A christmas tree falls off of a semi, goes through the window of the car, ruptures the tank and the electrical heating lines heating the tank spark and cause a fire which causes the explosion.

    I just got pictures of the “blown up car” that I’ll be posting this weekend. They really let the poor thing have it. They said it was quite the explosion too.

    I told em that the biodiesel itself wouldn’t blow up & they’d have a hard time convincing biodieseler’s of that fact, so that’s why the gasoline was part of the explosion.

  3. so is this car running on SVO or biodiesel. The last thing we want to due is further confuse people and make them think they have to convert their car to run on biodiesel. Also, the fuel was diesel fuel right? Not gasoline?

  4. The car is running on biodiesel.
    The guy is supposed to be such a hard-core environmentalist though that he won’t put a drop of petrodiesel in the car.

    Because the car is supposed to be driving through the Midwest in the middle of the winter w/ B100 in it I told them that the thing wouldn’t work that way unless they were to heat the fuel lines and fuel filter (it’d gel up REALLY quick w/ just B100 in the tank).

    In order to accomplish “accuracy” of how a biodiesel powered vehicle running B100 would run in the middle of a Midwest Winter I told them they had to heat the thing.

    In upper Vermont & Maine there’s biodieseler’s that do this very thing. Heat their fuel lines w/ B100 in it.

    I also told them that he couldn’t ever turn the car off if they had him pull into a gas station and expect to drive away on B100. Or, they had to have an extension cord hooked to the thing.

    So, they opted to put switches in the vehicle (they didn’t lead to anything of course, I mean, this is Hollywood after all) that were labelled Fuel Line & Fuel Filter and then also he wouldn’t ever turn the thing off.

    In actuality, neither of the cars ran any biodiesel in the show. It was extremely cold up there & they chose to run straight diesel (I thought that was lame, but anyway, that’s what they chose to do…One of the old Mercedes was smoking like a pig too).

    The gasoline issue was kind of a problem on their part (they did it w/o consulting w/ me first). They had him pull into a gas station, ask for biodiesel, the guy say’s “we only have gasoline and regular diesel” he choosed gasoline.

    What they REALLY should’ve done was had the attendant say that he only had gas, no biodiesel or diesel. But, again, they didn’t ask me about that one and it was already shot by the time I got there.

    So, yeah, that one’s an inaccuracy on their part. They know it. They’re willing to live w/ it.


  5. Graydon! You have to do something! They went to all that work to make sure they were authentic in their portrayal of biodiesel and they have the character put GASOLINE in the Benz, not diesel? They’ll look like idiots, and you’ll look responsible (as their consultant/ advisor). Be creative, they can think of some way to re-do that scene…

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